Wednesday 28 August 2013

Nomads unite: Brazilian clubs play musical stadiums

Quiz question: how many stadiums would usually be used over the course of a season in a league that contains 20 teams?

Don’t overthink it. The answer is 20. There will be occasional variance, of course, to account for stadium sharing (AC Milan and Inter Milan, for instance) and for unforeseen circumstances (see Cagliari’s recent ground-hopping exploits), but as a general rule every team has one home and one home alone.

But not in Brazil. Nearing the halfway stage of the Campeonato Brasileiro season, no fewer than 32 stadiums have been used.

Read the rest of this piece, on the nomadic existence of some Série A sides this year, on the Yahoo! Eurosport website.

Thursday 22 August 2013

Ex-Porto striker Walter weighs 93kg – but that's not stopping him impressing for Goiás

There is a poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty that sounds out a stirring welcome to immigrants to the USA. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” reads its most quoted line (and who am I to avoid the beaten path?).

If the Campeonato Brasileiro had its own symbolic gatekeeper, it may utter something similar. “Bring us your teenagers, your aching veterans and your faded stars,” perhaps.

A glance at one of the strikers currently lighting up the league may even prompt them to add another demographic: “Oh, and your overweight too.”

In my latest article for WhoScored, I profile Goiás  striker Walter, who is enjoying a fine season despite being a touch on the rotund side. Read it here.

Wednesday 21 August 2013

It started with a kiss: extreme reaction to Emerson photo exposes homophobia in Brazilian game

Emerson Sheik never thought it would come to this. A photo posted on Instagram of an innocent kiss with a friend provoked extreme reactions from a group of Corinthians fans, who made banners vilifying him. The problem? The kiss was with a man.

In my debut for Yahoo! Eurosport, I take a look at the reaction to the picture within the context of the widespread homophobia in Brazilian football. You can read it here.

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Five players bouncing back in Brazil

While storied veterans like Alex and Juninho Pernambucano continue to boost their legacies in Série A, the 2013 season has also provided ample opportunity for those who have taken wrong turns to get their careers back on track.

 In my latest article for WhoScored I look at five players – Rafael Marques, Luan, Wellington Paulista, André and Elias – who are bouncing back in Brazil this season. Click here to read it.

Thursday 1 August 2013

Cruzeiro continue to impress as Belo Horizonte bandwagon rolls on

They may not like it on the bronze beaches of Rio, in São Paulo’s office blocks and in the proud alehouses of Porto Alegre, but Brazilian football has a new epicentre. Since the turn of the year, Belo Horizonte has become the place to be on planet futebol.

First there was the reopening of the historic Mineirão stadium, the spiritual home of the game in the city, after World Cup renovation work that lasted the best part of three years. Without their usual home, Belo Horizonte’s big two – Atlético Mineiro and Cruzeiro – were forced to host matches in neighbouring towns Sete Lagoas and Uberlândia, with predictable consequences for attendance figures.

Atlético have latterly settled in América-MG’s cosy Independência ground, but Cruzeiro immediately reaped the rewards of returning to the Mineirão, embarking on a staggering run of form that saw them win 17 of their first 19 games of 2013.

Read the rest of this article on the WhoScored wesbite here.